Lawns continue to be an obsession in much of North America.
Both Americans and Canadians spend billions of dollars annually on seeds, fertilizers and pesticides as well as other lawn care products in order to have a perfectly thriving lawn.
The problem with this, of course, is that most conventional lawn care products are more focused on keeping the grass looking healthy while simultaneously degrading the soil the grass is planted in, polluting groundwater, and posing health threats to humans, pets and wildlife in the immediate vicinity.
If you’ve made a decision to take the organic route and rehabilitate your lawn, trusted lawn care professionals in Murray, Utah say that there are specific considerations to be made and steps to follow.
Benefits of Organic Lawn Care
While transitioning from having a chemical-addicted lawn into an organic one is not something that happens overnight, there are real benefits in having an organic lawn:
- Naturally healthy soil is conducive to the growth of strong and healthy grass.
- Organic lawn care, including the materials/products used and the processes, aids in making the soil retain moisture efficiently, ensures the soil is well-aerated, naturally enriches the soil and improves its texture.
- There are no threats of “burning” or overfeeding the grass and other plants.
- Organic manure and other natural fertilizers as well as natural pest and weed control methods do not pose any threat to humans, pets and other animals.
- With organic lawn care treatments, essential nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are released very slowly into the soil so the grass roots grow better, stronger, deeper and more fibrous roots, resulting in a healthy, thriving lawn that is also resistant to pests, weed overgrowth and disease.
- Organic lawn treatments complement the natural ecology of the soil, thereby proving harmless to beneficial microorganisms such as fungi and good bacteria as well as earthworms that naturally aid in healthy plant and grass growth.
Important Steps to Take in Making the Transition
When it comes to going organic, the best way, say seasoned landscaping experts in Salt Lake City, Utah, is to go cold turkey. Then take the necessary next steps:
1. Get the soil tested
In order to know the state your soil is in, you need to have it tested by your lawn care service provider. Or you can also dig up soil samples from different sections of your lawn and send them to a lab for analysis. There are also soil test kits available in local nurseries and garden care centers.
The main thing about soil testing is to check for acidity (pH) in the soil, and to identify any deficiencies which will require correction.
Once you have the required information to make the necessary amendments in your lawn, you can start preparing it. Mow the grass down until only about two inches is left (this depends on the type of grass you have), get rid of thatch and do some weeding.
Use a power aerator (usually available for rent) to efficiently aerate your yard so the soil is ready for the amendments you will implement. This part of the process should preferably be done during early spring.
It doesn’t matter what the result of the test is; you will need to apply organic compost made up of decomposed plant material that you may already have or which is available in local gardening supply stores and plant nurseries.
Spread about half an inch thick of compost all across your lawn. You can also learn to make your own compost tea which you can spray on your lawn once a month to hasten the transition of your lawn from conventional to organic.
3. Add organic herbicides and fertilizers into the mix
Still around early spring, you can apply organic corn gluten meal which acts as a pre-emergent herbicide. Then about three to six weeks later (depending on the type of organic fertilizer you are using), around early to late spring, you can apply organic or blended organic fertilizers to further enrich the soil and support healthy grass growth.
4. More mowing and continuous soil care
To get the best healthy sustainable grass growing in your lawn, consider native or organic grass seed. When mowing the grass this time, leave about three inches of growth; but again, this depends on the type of grass you are cultivating in your lawn.
Make sure to mow with a sharp blade and a mulching attachment. Leave the grass clippings where they are as they will decompose and release natural nitrogen to enrich the soil. The only time you need to bag the clippings is when you’ve done your last cut for the season. You can, instead, add the clippings to your homemade compost pile.
The tips mentioned above provide the foundation for an eco-friendly approach to yard work.
Making a change from conventional gardening and lawn care to sustainable and organic practices takes time, effort and commitment.
So if you want a safe, chemical-free lawn but don’t have the time you need to maintain one, you can always make an arrangement with lawn care experts who are always ready to help.